|When the King of
Terror raises his scepter, will the U.S. crumble to its knees in Fear
and Intimidation? Will the price of Vigilance be far
greater than the Complacency of Terrorism? That's one of
the massive questions that haunts America as we stand on the Eve of
the King of Terror's wrath. What will we do when and if
Saddam Hussein launches last-ditch retaliatory attacks to seek final
revenge against us if we attack? Are we ready to pay the
price of Vigilance to quash one of the many-headed Hydras of
28, 2003óGround Zero Plus 503
The Day I Bowed Before The
King Of Terror & His Princes
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Jan. 28--Con
Coughlin calls him the "King of Terrorism." The British journalist
released his book: Saddam Hussein: King of Terror, in
November, 2002. Itís currently being read as a dark omen of things
to come should the U.S. make good its threat to launch war against
Coughlin tells the story of Saddam Hussein growing up in the
streets of Baghdad, raised by his maternal uncle, Khayrallah Tulfa.
Tulfa was jailed by the British in WWII for being a Nazi spy. The
book describes how Saddam purged the streets of opposition, and like a
Mafioso, rose to power on the bones and blood of his adversaries,
directed by his uncle each step of the way.
Terrorism" = Saddam Hussein
Coughlinís point is chilling: to illustrate Hussein's bloodthirsty
nature, and his Hitlarian resolve to take everyone and everything out
with him if attacked, especially the innocent and vulnerable far from
Husseinís retaliatory strategy frightens many.
It frightens me. It frightens me that
his view is not only held by himself, but also reinforced by his two
sons. They are just as bellicose in fanning the flames of retaliation
within the U.S. and its allies. Both have Voiced their eagerness to
open the Gates of Hell if attacked and unleash the Beast of Terror on
everyoneís doorstep possible.
Hussein and his sons represent a living legacy to the Triad of
Terrorism. They are Fear, Intimidation and Complacency thinking
through one mind and yet walking in three different bodies, hold up in
three different bunkers, requiring three different direct strikes to
erase them from existence. In their dying breath, each has the
option to push the Terror Button and open the Gates of Hell.
Saddam's older son, with his father
Uday is the oldest and has a reputation as an irresponsible playboy.
Originally groomed for leadership, he fell out of his grace after an
assassination attempt on his life. His younger brother by two years,
Qusay, 35, has taken his position as Iraqi's future leader. Qusay was
elevated to deputy in charge of the Iraqi armed forces last year and
is said to already have control running day-to-day affairs in Iraq.
Uday manages the press and information and runs interference on the
U.N. weapons inspectors.
Both have underscored their fatherís threats with the tip of
their own acerbic tongues.
Coughlin reports a speech given last year by Qusay in an
underground bunker before his father and top Iraqi officials. In it,
he made this vow to his father: "With a simple sign from you(his
father), we can make America's people sleepless and frightened to go
out in the streets. I only ask you, sir, to give me a small sign to
turn their night into day and their day into a living hell."
and younger son, Qusay
Last week, Uday reinforced his brotherís vow to
Iraqi journalists: "If [the Americans] come, what they wept for on
September 11 and what they view as a major event, it will appear as a
picnic for them."
Both sons and father are more than willing to perform
Terroristic anatomy on any effort to unseat them from power. Their
main surgical tools are the scalpels, forceps and hemostats of Fear,
Terrorism and Complacency. Their current plan is carve up the
internal organs of American resolve by letting the world know that
whatever America does to Iraq, the consequences will be tenfold as
great. Itís working. Terrorism operates on its victims by opening up
the dark cavities of human survival. Using Fear to cut through our
thick hides, and Intimidation to force open the wound, it seeks to
clamp off the flow of blood and oxygen to our vital organs, spinning
us into a state of Complacency so we donít act.
When Saddamís Beast of Terror roars at our cave, and the
fetid stench of its breath drives us backward into the security of
civilization, we want nothing to do with the rabid beast that is so
culturally and physically different from us.
The impact of what he Saddam and his sons are planning didnít
strike me until this morning when I happened across Coughlinís
comments. They forced me to envision Saddam Hussein's death squads
nesting here in New York City with vials of biochemical's smuggled in,
and perhaps blankets soaked in smallpox locked in hermetically sealed
containers waiting for a signal from the father or either of the
sons. These Terrorist cells were driving cabs, or selling vegetables,
or perhaps students at NYU, poised and ready to unleash havoc, pain
and suffering on the innocent and vulnerable they consider enemies.
I thought of the French Resistance waiting for the signal
that the Normandy Invasion was underway so they could launch their
Terrorism against the Nazis in an attempt to demoralize and fragment
German soldierís resolve to fight. Pulverizing America would be a
glorious day of retribution, I thought, for all those eager to strike
a blow into the heart of what they call the ďEvil Nation.Ē
Then I thought of the safety of my grandchildren and
children threatened by such acts of retaliatory war.
I began to understand why Germany and France have turned
their backs on the United Statesí eagerness to attack Iraq, and why
the majority of Europeans, with the exception of Britain's Tony Blair,
want nothing to do with rushing to judgment. Europe is still
recoiling from the death and destruction of their nations as a result
of World War I & II, plus the economic and social devastation of the
Cold War. Its graveyards burst at the seams with the skeletons of
millions of innocent civilians--mothers, fathers, children, uncles,
aunts, cousins--caught in the crossfire.
and destruction in the Civil War
America's eagerness to launch war is in part the result of its fading
memory of warís haunting destructiveness. It has been nearly a
hundred and fifty years ago since America carted the bodies of its
670,000 dead through the streets. The Civil War was the last time
mothers and fathers held their dying children in their arms, victims
of a war that many claim today is still not over, still not resolved.
If one isnít sure about that fact, just ask Trent Lott.
The reality and ugliness of
deathís destruction in our streets and neighborhoods hit me like a bug
flying in front Evel Knievel's
windshield. I saw wailing mothers and fathers carrying limp bodies of
their children, fighting off the flies and maggots trying to feast on
what was once the center of the universe, now ground into horrible
death masks by enemies bent on getting ten eyes for one, and a whole
mouthful of teeth for every one we chip.
I have first-hand recall of warís twisted nature. Thinking
about the dangers of retaliation, I recalled the face of the first
grief-stricken mother I stumbled across in Vietnam. She was screaming
at me as I knelt to take a picture of her carrying her young son's
head under her arm. She was collecting pieces of his body that had
been blown apart by our artillery as we raged our way into her village
in search for the Viet Cong. She was trying to make her dead son
whole. She had what was left of his body propped up against a tree
and scurried about the pocked soil in search of his dismembered
pieces so she could bury him as a whole being. One reunited with his
body parts, he could go to Heaven as a one soul and not be lost in
purgatory where the dismembered were eternally damned until they could
find all their physical selves.
I remember looking through my camera lens and seeing the pity
in the woman's eyes pleading with me not to "steal her sonís soul" by
taking the picture, and the iciness of my own vacuous soul as I
clicked the shutter, unable to stop myself from my mission of
recording the horrors of war so that I might never forget them.
I thought of someone trying to take a picture of my grandsons,
or granddaughter, as their mother knelt over their wounded or maimed
bodies due to some Terrorist bomb or viral attack, and how violent I
would become now that I was older and wiser toward them for imposing
their cruel historic intentions upon the privacy of senseless death
and senseless sadness.
It wasn't a good feeling.
So when the words of Uday and Qusay rang in my mind this
morning, I felt the pores of my flesh pucker. Just beneath my skin
crawled an insatiable desire to turn my back on the saber rattling,
and to fall into the shroud of Complacency where I could shut my eyes
to all the principles of Vigilance and turn off the beacons I try to
shine on the need for Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the
Children's Children's Children in the face of Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. I just wanted to bury my head in the sand.
Keep the light
of Vigilance on
I found myself kneeling at the throne of
the King of Terror and his two sons, the Princes of Terror. My
Light of Vigilance dimmed. The Beast of Terror's shadow grew.
I could see why people refuse war, try and deny that the Terror will
ever reach them, and by blinding themselves to the future they can
live in peace in the future.
Then I regained my balance.
I thought of the word "coasting,"
often used to imply a state of Complacency. "I'm just coasting
along on the issue," is an implication that I'm doing nothing but
watching and waiting, observing, that I'm simply blinding myself to the
facts in hopes they will go away or be taken on by others so I won't
have to face them.
That's when I remembered Newton and the
Laws of Gravity. I realized that the only way to coast is downhill,
and that no
object can be at rest for long, for it is either moving one direction
or the next. Gravity forces all movement. The world
spins at 1,000 miles an hour. Nothing is constant but
change. Nothing can be ignored because all things exist
and co-exist by
their nature of being opposites and equals--including Terrorism and
Vigilance. Without Fear we cannot muster Courage, and without
Intimidation we have little motivation to seek Conviction, and without
Complacency we don't get upset with the ruts we dig and take the Right
Action to crawl out of them.
I realized it all came down to
timing, to the point where we faced the fangs of the Beast of Terror
at our doorstep and either fought him or fruitlessly tried to lock our
door and shutter ourselves inside.
Questions popped up. Do we turn our backs on Saddam Hussein today and face
his sons later? Do we attack him now and send a signal to
the world that Terrorism will face the Sword of Vigilance, or, do we
kneel at the King of Terror's throne as France and Germany has so
Do we put our children at risk?
Do we stand by and watch the wheelbarrows ferry their bodies to the
graveyard and scream and wail as photographers capture the scene?
I came out of the horrible herniated
thinking with only a thin thread of belief.
That belief was that sometime,
somewhere, some how, someone must make a stand for the future of the
world's growing threats of Terrorism.
In Pakistan nuclear weapons are under
the control of a democratic government. But, should that
government topple, and a radical government take control bent on
dominating the world with its Terrorism, who would stop them?
What signal would be sent to those who might rise up to seize the
power of mass destruction that such an act would be met with
I thought of North Korea and its
rogue leader defying the world with his powers of Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency, and wondered who would stop him or his Terroristic
predecessor from taking the lead from Saddam Hussein and swaggering
around the world selling his weapons to the highest bidder and
infecting the world with more poisons that could and would be used to
make the "haves" bow to the "have-nots," as is the modus operandi of
At some point the line between the
future security of the children and the present rampage of Terrorist
weapon building has to be drawn. Unfortunately, that line will
be marked with blood.
I began to take my head out of the
I began to think of what principles I
want my children and grandchildren to learn from my experience, and
the single most important one is that bullies and Terrorists have no
right to threaten the innocent, to force human beings to kneel before
their Thrones of Terror as I found myself so easily subject to this
Would I pass by an adult beating a child on
the street with his fists and run away because I was fearful he would
come after my children and grandchildren if I got "involved" in trying
to stop him?
I couldn't imagine myself letting
Yet, on a global basis, essentially I
found myself running from the threat of a bully. I found myself
scuttling like a rat to escape the rat catcher.
So I dug in.
I choose to be
a Wisdom Keeper
I bit the bullet.
I decided that Saddam Hussein's
threats, and those of his sons--while perhaps true and possibly
eventful--were not more powerful than the need for Vigilance.
I decided that as a Wisdom Keeper, to
not pass on to my children or grandchildren my belief in the
protection of their future by stopping Terrorism in its tracks was an
act of a coward. Surely, it would be easy for me to
turn my head and rally against the United States actions against Iraq.
But then I would leave my children
and grandchildren to fend for themselves. I would tell my
children and grandchildren that Complacency was more of a value than
Right Actions, even if those Right Actions might be rife with death
Terrorism plays to the mind.
It engages our Beast of Terror to force us into severe states of
selfish self-protection at the expense of future security.
It makes us bury our heads in the Sands of Complacency and to abdicate
our Rights of Vigilance to others so that we might escape our duty to
the future generations and bask in the pleasure of our present state.
But Newton and Laws of Gravity ruled
I knew that coasting my thoughts into
Complacency meant I was only going downhill, running from the bully of
Terrorism, surrendering to his grip, letting the Beast of Terror pin
me to the ground and snarl in victory over any effort to be Vigilant.
would be a violation of human evolution.
we must face Terrorism in all its ugly forms, even when
it means we must risk the danger of spilling our own blood
so the blood of the future may run free of the Toxins
I chose to
get off my knees.
I chose to
stand up to Terrorism, and to agree that no matter what
the consequences, inaction was far more Terrifying than
I looked the Beast
of Terror in the face, and took his picture.
27--The Super Bowl Of Terrorism
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